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FIA likely to grill customs officials for clearing pharma raw material

FIA likely to grill customs officials for clearing pharma raw material

KARACHI: A team of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Lahore is mulling over to visit Karachi for further investigating the case related to the clearance of pharmaceutical raw material in which 76 Customs officials involved.

Sources informed Customs Today that a team headed by FIA Assistant Director Mian Asif, husband of slain MQM MNA Tahira Asif, may visit Karachi to investigate the case of the clearance of Pharma raw material by the Pakistan Customs.

The sources further revealed this scribe that the FIA officers/officials will conduct some bold action including arrest of the Customs officials, who were allegedly involved in the clearance of pharmaceutical raw material without prior permission by the Federal Drug Department (FDD).However, Section 217 of the Customs Act, 1969 would not allow the FIA authorities to take such action (arrest) against the Customs officials, as Section 217 stated “No suit, prosecution and any legal action could be taken against the federal government servant”.

It is pertinent to mention here that the case of the clearance of the pharmaceutical raw material has become the bone of contention between two federal organizations, Federal Drug Regulatory Authority and Pakistan Customs for last couple of months.

The Drug Regulatory Authority (DRA) was of the view that the Pakistan Customs officials had involved in the clearance of pharmaceutical raw material illegally and the importer Intervac (Private) Limited; Lahore did not have the clearance certificate, which is mandatory under Rule 15 of the Drug (Import & Export) Rules, 1976.

On the other hand, the authorities of Pakistan Customs were of the view that in terms of serial No 7, Part-II (procedural requirements) to Appendix-B read with paragraph 5(B)(i) of the Import Policy Order (IPO), 2013 in vogue, the import of pharmaceutical (allopathic) raw material of pharmaceutical grade in the form of unprocessed ingredients is allowed, inter-alia, to pharmaceutical industries holding valid pharmaceutical manufacturing license in accordance with the provisions of Drug (Import and Export) Rules, 1976.